Brain Barf

May contain traces of nuts.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Expiration Dates

One of my old farts that I have blogged about before...the square dude (you know, the one that was about 4'11" and about as big around as he was tall=square) with the tricky Italian name (that he delighted when I pronounced correctly) died tonight.
I tucked him into bed for about three years.
He was 94.
He was one of a handful of lucid residents that always remembered my name and always asked when I worked next, and then grinned while giving me crap about being lazy, not working more and often suggesting that there was an empty room I could check in to :o) . (<--run on much?)
He had to move out of our assisted living facility a week ago into a nursing home. He told me that this assisted living facility was his final move, and if he ever had to leave, he would give up. He did (I've seen this multiple times and it's surprising how often they succeed).
I did something I haven't ever done, and told him I would visit him.
I didn't.
I planned to.
I honestly did.
There just wasn't enough time.
I loved the old square fart.
Surprisingly to me more than anyone, I don't have the guilt that I would have previously scheduled eighteen times daily.
The square dude lived a great life. He was loved by many including me, and even if he wouldn't have been too sick (mild dementia severely exacerbated by pneumonia) to notice my absence, he had known how I truly felt.

I've learned the hard way not to get too attached. I almost lost myself once.

I think I've finally found the balance.
Without becoming cold or detached.
*I can love for them and see them off when the gig is up.
I won't attend his funeral, or maybe I will.
The point is, I'm successfully dealing.

*disclaimer: This is substantially harder when the patient is young and suffers much.

A sincere thank you to the nursing home who called tonight to let us know.
It seems like a trivial courtesy, but it isn't the norm and is huge to those of us who trulycare.



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